Famous Quotes & Sayings

Carl R. Rogers Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 93 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Carl R. Rogers.

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Carl R. Rogers Quotes 394031

Maslow might be speaking of clients I have known when he says, "self-actualized people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may be for other people." (4, p. 214) — Carl R. Rogers

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The question may well be raised, however, whether we could have a community or a society based on this hypothesis of multiple realities. Might not such a society be a completely individualistic anarchy? That is not my opinion. Suppose my grudging tolerance of your separate world view became a full acceptance of you and your right to have such a view. Suppose that instead of shutting out the realities of others as absurd or dangerous or heretical or stupid, I was willing to explore and learn about those realities? Suppose you were willing to do the same. What would be the social result? I think that our society would be based not on a blind commitment to a cause or creed or view of reality, but on a common commitment to each other as rightfully separate persons, with separate realities. The natural human tendency to care for another would no longer be "I care for you because you are the same as I," but, instead, "I prize and treasure you because you are different from me. — Carl R. Rogers

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When you are in psychological distress and someone really hears you without passing judgement on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good! — Carl R. Rogers

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Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me? — Carl R. Rogers

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When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color." I don't do that. I don't try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds. I like myself best when I can appreciate my staff member, my son, my daughter, my grandchildren, in this same way. I believe this is a somewhat Oriental attitude; for me it is a most satisfying one. — Carl R. Rogers

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There is no doubt that I am selective in my listening, hence "directive" if people wish to accuse me of this. I am centered in the group member who is speaking, and am unquestionably much less interested in the details of his quarrel with his wife, or of his difficulties on the job, or his disagreement with what has just been said, than in the meaning these experience have for him now and the feeling they arouse in him. It is to these meanings and feelings that I try to respond. — Carl R. Rogers

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I believe that individuals nowadays are probably more aware of their inner loneliness than has ever been true before in history. — Carl R. Rogers

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The only way to understand another culture is to assume the frame of reference of that culture. — Carl R. Rogers

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I am less and less a creature of influences in myself which operate beyond my ken in the realms of the unconscious. I am increasingly an architect of self. I am free to will and choose. I can, through accepting my individuality, my 'isness,' become more of my uniqueness, more of my potentiality. — Carl R. Rogers

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I hear the words, the thoughts, the feeling tones, the personal meaning, even the meaning that is below the conscious intent of the speaker. Sometimes too, in a message which superficially is not very important, I hear a deep human cry that lies buried and unknown far below the surface of the person.
So I have learned to ask myself, can I hear the sounds and sense the shape of this other person's inner world? Can I resonate to what he is saying so deeply that I sense the meanings he is afraid of, yet would like to communicate, as well as those he knows? — Carl R. Rogers

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There is no organised encounter group. There is simply a freedom of expression - of feelings and thoughts - on any personally relevant issue. — Carl R. Rogers

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The mainspring of creativity appears to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy - man's tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities. — Carl R. Rogers

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When the locus of evaluation is seen as residing in the expert, it would appear that the long-range social implications are in the direction of the social control of the many by the few. — Carl R. Rogers

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I am isolated. I sit in a glass ball, I see people through a glass wall. I scream, but they do not hear me.
- Ellen West — Carl R. Rogers

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If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So as I say, it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual, — Carl R. Rogers

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Group of us felt that ideas were being fed to us, whereas we wished primarily to explore our own questions and doubts, and find out where they led. — Carl R. Rogers

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Can I "accept" a person's anger at me as an authentic aspect of himself? Can I "accept" the person if his beliefs and values are different from mine? — Carl R. Rogers

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Man's awesome scientific advances into the infinitude of space as well as the infinitude of sub-atomic particles seems most likely to lead to the total destruction of our world unless we can make great advances in understanding and dealing with interpersonal and inter-group tensions. I — Carl R. Rogers

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The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination. — Carl R. Rogers

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I would prefer my experiences in communication to have a growth-promoting effect, both on me and on the other, and I should like to avoid those communication experiences in which both I and the other person feel diminished. — Carl R. Rogers

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True empathy is always free of any evaluative or diagnostic quality. This comes across to the recipient with some surprise. If I am not being judged, perhaps I am not so evil or abnormal as I have thought. — Carl R. Rogers

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The intolerant "true believer" is a menace to any field, yet I suspect each one of us finds traces of that person in ourself. — Carl R. Rogers

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It is so obvious when a person is not hiding behind a facade but is speaking from deep within himself. — Carl R. Rogers

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Letting my experience carry me on, in a direction which appears to be forward, toward goals that I can but dimly define, as I try to understand at least the current meaning of that experience. — Carl R. Rogers

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Each man must resolve within himself issues for which his society previously took full responsibility. — Carl R. Rogers

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The third facilitative aspect of the relationship is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that the client is experiencing and communicates this understanding to the client. When functioning best, the therapist is so much inside the private world of the other that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. This kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know. — Carl R. Rogers

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A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits. — Carl R. Rogers

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I observe first that characteristically the client shows a tendency to move away, hesitantly and fearfully, from a self that he is not. In other words even though there maybe no recognition of what he might be moving toward, he is moving away from something. And of course in so doing he is beginning to define, however negatively, what he is. — Carl R. Rogers

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I am willing for the participant to commit or not commit himself to the group. If a person wishes to remain psychologically on the sidelines, he has my implicit permission to do so. The group itself may or may not be willing for him to remain in this stance but personally I am willing. One skeptical college administrator said that the main things he had learned was that he could withdraw from personal participation, be comfortable about it, and realize that he would not be coerced. To me, this seemed a valuable learning and one that would make it much more possible for him actually to participate at the next opportunity. Recent reports on his behavior, a full year later, suggest that he gained and changed from his seeming nonparticipation. — Carl R. Rogers

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In therapy the individual learns to recognize and express his feelings as his own feelings, not as a fact about another person. — Carl R. Rogers

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Another learning which cost me much to recognize, can be stated in four words. The facts are friendly.
( ... ) Especially in our early investigations I can well remember the anxiety of waiting to see how the findings came out. Suppose our hypotheses were disproved! Suppose we were mistaken in our views! ( ... ) I have perhaps been slow in coming to realize that the facts are always friendly. Every bit of evidence that one can acquire, in any area, leads one that much closer to what is true. — Carl R. Rogers

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Time and again in my clients, I have seen simple people become significant and creative in their own spheres, as they have developed more trust of the processes going on within themselves, and have dared to feel their own feelings, live by values which they discover within, and express themselves in their own unique ways. — Carl R. Rogers

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I would like to make it very plain that these are learnings which have significance for me. I do not know whether they would hold true for you. I have no desire to present them as a guide for anyone else. Yet I have found that when another person has been willing to tell me something of his inner directions this has been of value to me, if only in sharpening my realization that my directions are different. — Carl R. Rogers

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What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly. — Carl R. Rogers

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When I can relax, and be close to the transcendental core of me, then I may behave in strange and impulsive ways in the relationship, ways I cannot justify rationally, which have nothing to do with my thought processes. But these strange behaviors turn out to be right in some odd way. At these moments it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and has become something larger. — Carl R. Rogers

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When I am thus able to be in process, it is clear that there can be no closed system of beliefs, no unchanging set of principles which I hold. Life is guided by a changing understanding of and interpretation of my experience. It is always in process of becoming. — Carl R. Rogers

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When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance ... provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another. — Carl R. Rogers

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I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning. — Carl R. Rogers

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The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. — Carl R. Rogers

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Can I freely permit this staff member or my son or my daughter to become a separate person with ideas, purposes, and values which may not be identical with my own? — Carl R. Rogers

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I regret it when I suppress my feelings too long and they burst forth in ways that are distorted or attacking or hurtful. — Carl R. Rogers

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You know that I don't believe that anyone has ever taught anything to anyone. I question that efficacy of teaching. The only thing that I know is that anyone who wants to learn will learn. And maybe a teacher is a facilitator, a person who puts things down and shows people how exciting and wonderful it is and asks them to eat. — Carl R. Rogers

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In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth? — Carl R. Rogers

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The conviction grows in me that we shall discover laws of personality and behavior which are as significant for human progress or human understanding as the law of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. — Carl R. Rogers

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Another way of learning for me is to state my own uncertainties, to try to clarify my puzzlements, and thus get closer to the meaning that my experience actually seems to have. — Carl R. Rogers

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To be responsibly self-directing means that one chooses - and then learns from the consequences. So clients find this a sobering but exciting kind of experience. — Carl R. Rogers

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It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried. It began to occur to me that unless I had a need to demonstrate my own cleverness and learning, I would do better to rely upon the client for the direction of movement in the process. — Carl R. Rogers

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The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself. — Carl R. Rogers

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In my relationships with persons I have found that it does not help, in the long run, to act as though I were something that I am not. — Carl R. Rogers

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I've always felt I had to do things because they were expected of me, or more important, to make people like me. The hell with it! I think from now on I'm going to just be me - rich or poor, good or bad, rational or irrational, logical or illogical, famous or infamous. — Carl R. Rogers

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When a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me — Carl R. Rogers

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I find it very satisfying when I can be real, when I can be close to whatever it is that is going on within me. I like it when I can listen to myself. To really know what I am experiencing in the moment is by no means an easy thing, but I feel somewhat encouraged because I think that over the years I have been improving at it. — Carl R. Rogers

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One of the most satisfying feelings I know - and also one of the most growth-promoting experiences for the other person - comes from my appreciating this individual in the same way that I appreciate a sunset. People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. In fact, perhaps the reason we can truly appreciate a sunset is that we cannot control it. — Carl R. Rogers

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What is most personal is most universal. — Carl R. Rogers

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To recognize that "I am the one who chooses" and "I am the one who determines the value of an experience for me" is both an invigoraring and a frightening realization. — Carl R. Rogers

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I find that this desire to be all of oneself in each moment - all the richness and complexity, with nothing hidden from oneself, and nothing feared in oneself - this is a common desire in those who have seemed to show much movement in therapy. I do not need to say that this is a difficult, and in its absolute sense an impossible goal. Yet one of the most evident trends in clients is to move toward becoming all of the complexity of one's changing self in each significant moment. — Carl R. Rogers

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if you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, without any attempt to make evaluative judgments, you run the risk of being changed yourself. — Carl R. Rogers

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The paradigm of Western culture is that the essence of persons is dangerous; thus, they must be taught, guided and controlled by those with superior authority. — Carl R. Rogers

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Perhaps partly because of the troubling business of being struggled over, I have come to value highly the privilege of getting away, of being alone. It has seemed to me that my most fruitful periods of work are the times when I have been able to get completely away from what others think, from professional expectations and daily demands, and gain perspective on what I am doing. — Carl R. Rogers

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To quote Maslow again regarding his self-actualizing individuals: "One does not complain about water because it is wet, nor about rocks because they are hard ... As the child looks out upon the world with wide, uncritical and innocent eyes, simply noting and observing what is the case, without either arguing the matter or demanding that it be otherwise, so does the self-actualizing person look upon human nature both in himself and in others." (4, p. 207) This acceptant attitude toward that which exists, I find developing in clients in therapy. — Carl R. Rogers

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The kind of caring that the client-centered therapist desires to achieve is a gullible caring, in which clients are accepted as they say they are, not with a lurking suspicion in the therapist's mind that they may, in fact, be otherwise. This attitude is not stupidity on the therapist's part; it is the kind of attitude that is most likely to lead to trust ... — Carl R. Rogers

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evaluation by others is not a guide for me. The judgments of others, while they are to be listened to, and taken into account for what they are, can never be a guide for me. This has been a hard thing to learn. — Carl R. Rogers

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I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming. — Carl R. Rogers

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So, here we are, all of us poor bewildered darlings, wandering adrift in a universe too big and too complex for us, clasping and ricochetting off other people too different and too perplexing for us, and seeking to satisfy myriad, shifting, vague needs and desires, both mean and exalted. And sometimes we mesh. Don't we?
- Attributed to James Flynn, Ph.D. — Carl R. Rogers

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Once an experience is fully in awareness, fully accepted, then it can be coped with effectively, like any other clear reality. — Carl R. Rogers

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I believe that even our most abstract and philosophical views spring from an intensely personal base. — Carl R. Rogers

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We cannot deal with the increasing maldistribution of wealth, the increasing alienation of millions, or the lack of a unified purpose and goal by increasing the efficiency of production, increasing the automation of industry, accelerating our technology, or increasing our reliance on the profit motives of multinational corporations. — Carl R. Rogers

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The right wing has a large proportion of authoritarian personalities. They tend to believe man is, by nature, basically evil. Surrounded as all of us are by the bigness of impersonal forces which seem beyond our power to control, they look for the 'enemy', so that they can hate him. At different times in history 'the enemy' has been the witch, the demon, the Communist (remember Joe McCarthy?), and now sex education, sensitivity training, 'non-religious humanism', and other current demons.
- attributed to James E. Harmon — Carl R. Rogers

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It becomes easier for me to accept myself as a decidedly imperfect person, who by no means functions at all times in the way in which I would like to function. This must seem to some like a very strange direction in which to move. It seems to me to have value because the curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I change. — Carl R. Rogers

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Small wonder that we prefer to approach therapy with many rigid preconceptions. We feel we must bring order to it. We can scarcely dare to hope that we can discover order in it. — Carl R. Rogers

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To be what one is, is to enter fully into being a process. — Carl R. Rogers

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People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. — Carl R. Rogers

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We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed. — Carl R. Rogers

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When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. I have deeply appreciated the times that I have experienced this sensitive, empathic, concentrated listening. — Carl R. Rogers

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It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behavior. — Carl R. Rogers

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In my deepest contacts with individuals in therapy, even those whose troubles are most disturbing, whose behavior has been most anti-social, whose feelings seem most abnormal, I find this to be true. When I can sensitively understand the feelings which they are expressing, when I am able to accept them as separate persons in their own right, then I find that they tend to move in certain directions. And what are these directions in which they tend to move? The words which I believe are most truly descriptive are words such as positive, constructive, moving toward self-actualization, growing toward maturity, growing toward socialization. — Carl R. Rogers

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I found myself doing this same thing - playing a role of having greater certainty and greater competence than I really possess. I can't tell you how disgusted with myself I felt as I realized what I was doing: I was not being me, I was playing a part. — Carl R. Rogers

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If awareness and conscious thought are seen as a part of life - not its master nor its opponent but an illumination of the developing process within the individual - then our total life can be the unified and unifying experience that is characteristic in nature. — Carl R. Rogers

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Perhaps it is less important that a teacher cover the allotted amount of the curriculum, or use the most approved audio-visual devices, than that he be congruent, real, in his relation to his students. — Carl R. Rogers

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So while I still hate to readjust my thinking, still hate to give up old ways of perceiving and conceptualizing, yet at some deeper level I have, to a considerable degree, come to realize that these painful reorganizations are what is known as learning, — Carl R. Rogers

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Change threatens, and its possibility creates frightened, angry people. They are found in their purest essence on the extreme right, but in all of us there is some fear of process, of change. — Carl R. Rogers

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I have learned that my total organismic sensing of a situation is more trustworthy than my intellect. — Carl R. Rogers

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The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. — Carl R. Rogers

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To be with another in this [empathic] way means that for the time being, you lay aside your own views and values in order to enter another's world without prejudice. In some sense it means that you lay aside your self; this can only be done by persons who are secure enough in themselves that they know they will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and that they can comfortably return to their own world when they wish.
Perhaps this description makes clear that being empathic is a complex, demanding, and strong - yet subtle and gentle - way of being. — Carl R. Rogers

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From what I have been saying, I trust it is clear that when I can permit realness in myself or sense it or permit it in another, I am very satisfied. When I cannot permit it in myself or fail to permit it in another, I am very distressed. — Carl R. Rogers

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The more I can keep a relationship free of judgment and evaluation, the more this will permit the other person to reach the point where he recognizes that the locus of evaluation, the center of responsibility, lies within himself. — Carl R. Rogers

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There is direction but there is no destination — Carl R. Rogers

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It was found in practice that when the examinations were conducted in a spirit which led up to conclusions which were bits of advice, often no action was taken; whereas by leaving it to spontaneity in the individual and to his own sense of responsibility, action is taken in the overwhelming majority of cases. — Carl R. Rogers

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You can't possibly be afraid of death, really, you can only be afraid of life. — Carl R. Rogers

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We live by a perceptual "map" which is never reality itself. — Carl R. Rogers

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Colossal rigidity, whether in dinosaurs or dictatorships, has a very poor record of evolutionary survival. — Carl R. Rogers

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The strongest force in our universe is not overriding power, but love. — Carl R. Rogers

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I like to think of myself as a quiet revolutionary. — Carl R. Rogers